If ever tax renewals should be defeated, these are the ones: 3 Caddo Parish School Board tax millages generating $55 million a year. The election is May 4th; the renewals are the only items on the ballot.
The School Board has been urged by the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance of Election to delay these tax renewals until the November ballot. The sound reasoning for this request can not be refuted by even a village idiot. There are a number substantial of uncertainties facing the school system, – – – financial issues, unknowns from the state ( as to school takeovers) and a future without a known superintendent.
At a recent special board meeting, School Board President Larry Ramsey along with Vice-President Carl Pierson urged a postponement to the election. It seemed likely the approach would be approved, and the months until the November election date would be used to develop a comprehensive plan for a future.
Pierson’s motion for a November tax renewal vote died for a lack of a second, – – – Ramsey as Board President could not second the motion. The seven (7) board members present, – – – Dottie Bell, Charlotte Crawley, Jasmine Green, Lillian Priest, Barry Rachal, Steve Riall and Mary Trammel, – – – succombed to pressure from the teachers union to not even allow debate of this issue. Ginger Armstrong, Bonita Crawford, and Curtis Hooks were not present; one of these three (3) could have also seconded the motion.
Seemingly none of the school board members want to acknowledge the elephant in the board room, – – – the State of Louisiana, who is on the verge of taking over from 4 to maybe 24 Caddo schools for the continuing poor performance. State takeover of any Caddo school will mean that a portion of local and valorem taxes will go to the State to support those schools; this will further compound the financial troubles of the school board.
Unfortunately, the school board elections are three (3) years away, and thus any hope of electing responsible board members will be long after the cows have left the barn, so to speak. The current board will select a new superintendent, will deal with a reduced school system after state takeovers, and continue to spend tax dollars in what is, overall, a failing school system. The best way to send a message to this misdirected, self serving group is to defeat the May renewal.